The weather and depression
The seasons can influence our mood and associated hormones and neurotransmitters cause, for example, the winter blues. For example, in winter many people experience a dip in their mood, which is also known as winter depression or seasonal depression. This can be caused by a lack of sunlight, which reduces the body’s own “happiness hormone” serotonin. In spring and summer, many people experience an improvement in their mood. This can be attributed to an increase in sunlight, which stimulates the production of vitamin D and the increase in serotonin due to exposure to daylight. The change of seasons can also affect the production of other hormones and neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, norepinephrine and cortisol, which influence our mood and physical well-being.
A lack of sun in winter
In winter when the days are shorter and there is less sunlight, our body can produce less vitamin D. This is because our skin naturally produces vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D is essential for a healthy immune system because it helps regulate our immune response. A vitamin D deficiency can therefore contribute to a weakened immune system and make us more susceptible to viruses such as colds, corona and flu. It is believed that normal vitamin D levels in the body can contribute to a more effective immune response to viruses. It is therefore important to get enough vitamin D, especially in the winter months when the sun shines less brightly. Supplementing vitamin D through diet or supplementation can help strengthen immunity and reduce susceptibility to viruses.
Preventing winter depression
There is increasing evidence that shows that there is a link between a well-functioning immune system, low inflammation levels and a lower risk of depression. Low-grade inflammation can occur when the immune system becomes overactive and attacks the cells and tissues in the body that it should normally protect. These inflammatory reactions are accompanied by an increased production of cytokines, substances that cause inflammatory reactions. Research shows that this inflammation can lead to changes in the brain that can contribute to the development of depression.
A well-functioning immune system and low inflammation levels can therefore protect against the development of depression. It is important, especially in winter, to maintain a healthy lifestyle to maintain the immune system. In addition to taking vitamin D, there are other things that can help such as regular exercise, a healthy diet, enough sleep, supplements and stress reduction.
Food for the winter
In winter it is important to support the immune system with the right nutrition. Edible mushrooms, such as Shiitake, are very effective because they support the immune system and at the same time spare the lungs, which is useful in cases of COVID-19, for example. Quercetin is a plant substance that also supports the immune system and is found in capers, onions, apples and leafy vegetables. Turmeric is also a powerful remedy. It has anti-inflammatory effects and is often added to dishes for extra flavor and health benefits. In addition, zinc and selenium are important minerals for the immune system. Zinc stimulates the production of white blood cells and is found in meat, shellfish, seeds and nuts. Selenium also strengthens the immune system and is found in fish, whole grains and Brazil nuts, among others. All in all, it is important to eat a healthy and varied diet, with sufficient vitamins and minerals to keep our immune system strong and healthy.
For more tips, we recommend reading our previous article on the anti-depression diet and our list of foods with a high ORAC value (anti-inflammatory function of food).
Eating edible mushrooms in winter brings many benefits. It is good to vary with various edible mushrooms as each species contains its own unique substances and supports the immune system in a different way. Below we have highlighted a number of special medicinal mushrooms (pun intended).
|Anti-inflammatory so better immune system, less depression
|More Nerve Grow Factor against Alzheimer’s and MS (neurodegeneration)
|Better immune system, especially against cancer
|Activates immune system against viruses via AHCC
|Better immune system
|He Shou Wu
|Protection against DNA aging via Superoxide Dismutase
|Hallucinations and BDNF for insights and connections in the brain
Support with supplements
In addition to the fact that nutrition is the basis for a good immune system, the supplements below can support the immune system during the winter. Below we list a number that work well during the winter and via the buttons below you can find more information about the relevant supplements and how they work.
- Vitamin D
- Multivitamin with vitamins B, C, E and minerals such as zinc and selenium
- Saffron (Anti-inflammatory and neurotransmitter modulator)
- Krill or algae oil (because of DHA and EPA)
- 5-HTP or tryptophan
Does psilocybin work against winter depression?
Psilocybin can work against depression in several ways. Psilocybin has a physical (biochemical) effect on the brain and it provides a subjective experience. Both can contribute to reducing the winter blues or winter depression.
Recent studies have shown that psilocybin has an anti-inflammatory effect in the body. Assuming that depression can be an inflammatory response of the body, the anti-inflammatory effect of psilocybin can help to reduce inflammation levels and thus be effective in treating winter depression.
In addition to the anti-inflammatory effects of psilocybin, psilocybin can promote the growth of new nerve cells in the brain and thus also reduce depressive symptoms. This has to do with the activity of BDNF, a substance released when using psilocybin. BDNF can cause the dendritic processes to grow.
Furthermore, a trip on psilocybin can dispel loneliness by allowing people to experience the unity of the universe. The absence of loneliness has a positive effect on the immune system and thus indirectly on depression. A spiritual journey or insights can also help in dealing with stressors that would otherwise lead to depression.
Information about psilocybin
As soon as 2024 starts we will have already helped approximately 2000 people with psilocybin sessions. Before the hype surrounding psychedelics started, we wanted to bridge the gap between therapy with psychedelics and a healthy lifestyle. We also want to combine psychedelic therapy with physical health in 2024 and we are happy to help you with this. In order to use our services, we ask you to complete the intake so that we can see whether psilocybin or other psychedelics can be used. If we find contraindications in the intake, we will let you know. If there are no objections, we can schedule a session and provide advice in preparation for your session.
Availability of Trip Therapy
Before anyone goes for a psychedelic session it is highly recommended to understand what this means. To learn more about psilocybin, how psilocybin therapy works, what our availability is for private or group sessions, please use the buttons below.
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